Category Archives: Weddings

The Questions You Should be Asking Your Wedding Planner

wedding

The wedding planner that you pick will have the immense responsibility of ensuring that every aspect of the organisation of your big day goes smoothly. You should, therefore, expect to ask a lot of questions to each person you are considering for this all-important job.

Here are just some of the questions to ask that will help you to narrow down the candidates.  

 

 

Will you be available on my wedding day?

This may appear to be an obvious question, but you would be surprised to hear of how often it isn’t asked until the couple realise the true situation all too late. In fact, you should be asking this question before any other, to ensure you do not waste any time considering someone who isn’t free.

If you are strongly interested in working with a particular wedding planner and can be flexible with your dates, you could ask them to give several dates when they will be free within your desired range, so that you can determine when both they and your preferred venue will be available.

 

 

Have you organised weddings at this venue before?

Your chosen wedding planner having overseen nuptials at the specific venue you have in mind is a big plus, as they will therefore probably know the venue staff, layout and logistics. This, in turn, should help to make the planning process that bit smoother.

Alternatively, it may be that the person in question has planned weddings at similar venues, which can be a great advantage, too. It could enable you to ask them a little more about their approach to organising weddings in such settings.

This way, if you have an unspeakably romantic French chateau wedding at such a fairytale venue as Château Bouffémont in mind, you can be sure of the planner achieving a ‘vibe’ that you will love.  

 

 

How do you deal with difficult family members?

There are various ways in which you could phrase a question like this. The key is to uncover evidence of how the wedding planner customarily responds to those unexpected disaster situations that could put them under a lot of pressure. You won’t want to discover that your chosen wedding planner becomes easily flustered or angry in such a situation on your big day itself!

However, you should also gain a sense from this person that they have a foolproof backup plan in mind for such difficult situations and will be organised enough to hopefully ward off any catastrophes from occurring in the first place.

Don’t simply presume that disasters like those told by nine wedding planners for this recent article for Cosmopolitan won’t happen to you; being ready for worst-case scenarios is vital.

 

 

How do you prefer to communicate?

Different wedding planners often have very different methods of operating, and you will want to be sure that your chosen wedding planner’s process works well for you.

The wedding planner that you have in mind may be based largely in Paris, for instance, which may seem ideal if you are getting married somewhere like the refined stone-built Château Bouffémont, situated a mere 30 kilometres away.

However, you may be a resident of the UK who will not be visiting France until the wedding, which will not be helpful if your Paris-based wedding planner is never in Britain and prefers to discuss their ideas with you face-to-face, rather than via email or over the phone.

 

 

For how long have you been a wedding planner?

We’re not attempting to suggest here that an experienced wedding planner is automatically preferable to an inexperienced one.

However, if the person you choose has spent several decades in the industry rather than just a few years, they will have had greater opportunity to develop connections with vendors that could translate into a better wedding for you.

While it’s important not to become too stressed out by the process of selecting a wedding planner, you should also not underestimate the difference that the right person can make – not least because, as explained by Loverly, working with a wedding planner can bring unexpected benefits.

How to have an Intimate Destination Wedding in France

French Chateau Wedding

It is unsurprising that so many couples wish to tie the knot in France, which is, after all, perhaps the country on earth to be most indelibly associated with romance. However, whatever your own preferences or plans for your special day may be, it is vital to be well-informed with regard to the legalities and other practical aspects of formalising your union overseas.

 

What kind of venue do you desire for your big day? 

France is such a frequently dreamed-of wedding destination in part due to its abundance of highly distinguished and enchanting venues.

A French chateau wedding is surely the archetypal romantic occasion, as we have good reason to appreciate here at Château Bouffémont, on account of the many enquiries we receive in relation to hiring our magnificent heritage property for ceremonies and receptions.

While France is blessed with a variety of wedding venues to cater to different aesthetic tastes, it is also crucial to consider the logistics of your special day, including travel connections and the ease, or otherwise, with which your intended guests will be able to reach your chosen venue.

This is another factor that often heightens the appeal of such a well-situated venue as Château Bouffémont, which can be found in the heart of Montmorency Forest, a mere 40-minute journey from central Paris, and 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Le Bourget airports.

 

The legal dimension of getting married on French shores

As explained by such online sources as TransferWise, there are many elements and rules that one must follow if they wish to hold a marriage ceremony and/or reception in France.

Some of the legal requirements for a wedding in France – such as for both parties to consent and be at least 18 years of age – may seem easy enough to meet. However, one frequent barrier to those wishing to officially marry in the country is the need to provide proof of residency in France for a minimum of 30 days prior to the application being made, for at least one of the parties.

It is for this reason that many couples ultimately elect to have a legal wedding in their home country, followed by a religious or symbolic ceremony at a French venue of their choice.

This was the approach taken by Natalie of the Weddings Abroad Guide website, who explained: “My husband and I ‘secretly’ got married in the United Kingdom prior to our wedding in France and had a Humanist wedding ceremony on our wedding day in France.

“Our civil ceremony in the United Kingdom was purely to take care of the legalities and our wedding day in France is when we considered ourselves married.”

 

All of the intricate touches required for a very special wedding

When you are interested in holding a destination wedding that will warm the hearts of everyone present and leave positive memories to last a lifetime, you can scarcely hope to select a more suitable venue than Château Bouffémont.

Our noble stone-built property offers an extraordinary setting of manicured French gardens that lends itself beautifully to the most endearing photography. On the inside, meanwhile, you will find the opulent furnishings and crystal chandeliers that practically define the most intimate and charming of wedding venues.

Combine these elements with our exacting service characterised by the highest level of attention to detail, and you may have the ideal venue for your own intimate French chateau wedding.

10 French Traditions to Embrace at your Wedding

Chateau Wedding

Getting married in France is a dream that many couples have. This is in large part due to the many
fascinating wedding traditions that have contributed to the country’s sustained reputation as the
epicentre of global romance.

 

If, however, you are interested in not only tying the knot in France but also embracing the finest
French traditions for this most special day, here are some ideas that you may like to incorporate into
your own ceremony.

 

1. A non-bride-centric approach

To those familiar with the phenomenon of the ‘bridezilla’ – a term used in reference to brides
perceived to be self-centered and unreasonable – the comparatively little focus placed on the bride in
traditional French weddings may be surprising at first. French marriages tend to emphasise, instead,
the two families that are brought together by the union.

 

2. The wedding procession

One custom on a French wedding day is for the groom to approach his bride-to-be at her home to
‘collect’ her prior to the ceremony. As the bride, her father and musicians lead the procession,
children stretch white ribbons across the road to block their path. The bride cuts the ribbons to
allow her passage, thereby also symbolising her ability to overcome the obstacles of married life.

 

3. La mairie

This is a legal requirement that has effectively taken the form of a French marriage tradition. Those
wishing to legally marry in the country must be married by the mayor at a town hall, with the doors
remaining open to reflect the ‘public’ nature of the event and – traditionally – provide potential
objectors to the marriage with the opportunity to do so. The SmartExpat website provides more
details on the legal process of tying the knot in France.

 

4. The wedding armoire

A traditional French bride’s ‘wedding armoire’ is her cupboard or chest, which is to be filled with
linen or clothing – or to use the native term, ‘trousse’. Such items are often hand chosen and
embroidered by the bride and her mother with her married initials, and are meant to serve the
bride’s needs during her married life.

 

5. The grand entrance

It is the groom and his mother who typically walk down the aisle first to mark the big entrance after
all of the guests are seated. It is only after this that the bridal party arrives, including flower girls
scattering petals, boys carrying the ring and finally, the bride and her father. The couple then sit on
red velvet chairs for the exchange of vows.

 

6. La noce

This is a term covering all of the wedding-related festivities involving the wedding party and guests.
One tradition formerly involved the guests – or ‘noce’ – following the newlyweds to the various sites
visited on the day, such as the church, drink reception or dinner location, while making the
maximum possible amount of noise. Today, a car procession following the bridal vehicle – with the
horns blaring en route – is more typical.

 

7. La voiture balai

What can be directly translated in name as the ‘broom car’ serves the purpose of following the
bridal and guests’ cars between locations, to ensure everyone reaches the party safely. A quirkily
and unmistakably French vehicle – such as the Citroen 2CV – is often chosen for this role, and may
be heavily decorated with pans or tins that trail behind it during the journey.

 

8. The cake

Traditional French weddings do not have a wedding cake as such, but instead what is known as a
croquembouche, which essentially takes the form of a pyramid of balls or choux buns filled with
vanilla cream or custard, and held together with toffee. Alternative offerings may be chosen, such as
conical creations consisting of macrons or other French pastries. Paris-based wedding planner
Kimberley Petyt has provided further information on what you need to know for your own French
wedding croquembouche on The Good Life France website.

 

9. The champagne tower

Few French wedding traditions are more enthusiastically embraced by those from overseas than la
fontaine à Champagne! This extravagant sight takes the form of a pyramid of flutes or coupes, with
the Champagne being poured into the top glass and subsequently filling all of the glasses below. As
you might imagine, it is best advised to entrust the construction of such a tower to capable and
experienced professionals.

 

10. The fairytale chateau venue

There can surely be no finer French wedding tradition than the backdrop on which one ties the knot,
not least because this is so often a resplendent historic chateau, such as the extraordinary Château
Bouffémont in its enchanting setting of manicured French gardens.

When you seek the most unspeakably romantic chateau to rent in France for your special day, you
could scarcely hope to make a more tasteful choice than our own aristocratic property – not least
because we are also in such close proximity to Paris, the City of Lights itself.

Tips to Make Your Summer Chateau Wedding an Iconic Event

If you have often seen friends and relatives enjoying chateau weddings, you could be understandably attracted to the idea of having a similar ceremony for your own big day. We would be happy to allow you to rent our heritage venue, Château Bouffémont, for your nuptials.

However, if you intend your wedding to happen during the summer, you might wonder how you could make it stand out from such weddings your guests have previously attended. Here are some ideas…

Keep the engagement period short

One way of leaving a positive lasting impression on your guests is making the wedding a surprise. You could do this by renting our French chateau for your intended wedding day and then sending out the invites – except omitting the detail that the event will be a wedding.

If you indeed go down this route, you could hold the wedding shortly after announcing the engagement. Otherwise, someone could let slip the big secret before time, as Vogue cautions.

Give your guests good reasons to travel

This can be imperative if you are seeking to keep the wedding under wraps for now, as even well-meaning friends and relatives could be reluctant to make long journeys for anything other than significant milestones. Therefore, you should try strongly incentivising them to travel.

If you book our venue, you could draw attention to its proximity to Paris. Our stunning refined building is just 30 kilometres from the centre of the French capital and its many attractions.

Offer drinks with a difference

At a summer wedding, it can be standard practice to hand glasses of champagne to guests as they arrive. However, as recommended in another Vogue piece, you could instead place decorative pitchers of fruit-infused ice water at the entrance to the venue.

This can have the dual benefit of not only giving your guests another unique little detail to fondly remember but also helping to keep them cool – a purpose that some fruits are especially effective at serving.

Put together an inventive game plan

When you rent Château Bouffémont for use on your wedding day, you can tailor the on-site services that we provide to prevent boredom setting in among your guests.

For example, you could ask our fully dedicated staff to make refined cuisine that meets various guests’ specific culinary preferences. You could even book private fitness and dance classes or let guests try cookery or taste-test wine. It’s all possible at our chateau.

Encourage a quirky-but-practical dress code

If you have attended many weddings in the past, you might have understandably felt anguish about how you should dress for these occasions. After all, discerning how to dress in a way that makes you stand out but not show up the bride can seem like a delicate art.

To prevent your guests struggling to strike the right balance, you could show them these tips from Harper’s Bazaar. You can then start preparing for other aspects of the wedding; here at Château Bouffémont, we warmly welcome reservations for chateau weddings for dates during the summer.

Inspiration for your wedding this Christmas season

Inspiration for your wedding this Christmas season

 

Winter weddings have long been associated with a certain magic – after all, they take place at a time of year that is already pretty special given the ongoing Christmas celebrations. However, it’s also true that every little touch or adjustment can help so much to make an already heart-warming and inspiring occasion even more so.

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Wedding a la francaise?

marriage chateau

For so many couples, it is a lifelong and heartfelt dream to get married in France. This may be due to an enduring love of French culture, or perhaps a family or ancestral connection to the country. Alternatively, you may simply be looking to tie the knot abroad and have considered France due to its strong associations with all things romance.

However, there is much more to the organisation of a French wedding than simply finding the prettiest and most enchanting backdrop on which to confirm one’s union. Here are some of the other factors that demand consideration.

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Getting married in a French chateau

wedding-french-chateau-bouffemont

Pierre Atelier / Paris / photographe mariage / destination wedding photographer

France has many attractions as a country in which to get hitched. Those attractions include delicious food, fine wines, lots of sunshine, and – of course – a reputation as one of the world’s most romantic settings in the world. That’s why a French chateau can make a beautiful backdrop to a wedding, especially Château Bouffémont. Continue reading

How to plan a wedding in a Chateau in France

wedding-french-chateau

Chateau. France. Wedding. It’s what dreams are made of. Elegant, refined and enchanting, perhaps nothing could better meet your expectations of your wedding day than a historic chateau in France. However, if planning your wedding from a distance is something preventing you from choosing your dream location, be assured, planning a wedding at a chateau in France, needn’t be a headache. We’ve put together a guide to help you find the right venue for your wedding and make the most of your budget.

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A Romantic French Château for your Wedding

Photography: Katie Mitchell Photography
Coordinator: Vanessa Et Caroline
Cinematography: Erwan Cloarec Visuals
Venue: Château Bouffémont
Stationery: Dancourt
Flowers: Michaël Leal
Cake: Carette
Hair: Coiffure Nirvana
Makeup: Toni Lazzaro
Dress designer: Fabienne Alagama
Props/furniture rentals: Bernardaud, Zara Home, Verreries Des Lumieres, Cote Noire & Christofle
Jewelry: Messika Joaillarie